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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

State Rep. Derrick Smith, 48, appeared in a federal courtroom Monday and plead not guilty to accepting a bribe in exchange for using his influence to obtain a state grant for a day care center. Smith had been arrested in March on the federal bribery charges and indicted on April 10th.

Prosecutors allege that Smith accepted a $7,000 cash bribe from a campaign worker, who was actually an undercover FBI informant. According to the criminal complaint, the congressman thought he was taking the money to provide an official letter in support of a $50,000 grant request from a day care center, which turned out to be non-existent and was part of the sting operation. If convicted, Smith faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is due in court May 16th.

Some lawmakers, including Gov. Pat Quinn, have called for Smith to resign from office. But the congressman, who just days after his arrest won the Democratic nomination in the Illinois primary, vows he will stay in office and fight the charges.

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